Greetings From

The Appalachian Poverty Project

November 2007












We returned from another mission trip to McDowell County, WV on November 5. The purpose of this trip was to begin filming a documentary about poverty in the area. We may have actually gotten enough footage to complete the documentary but won’t really know until we are well into editing which will take several months minimum.


While there, we interviewed five families who had been served by the School For Life in Gary. These families were chosen only for their availability and willingness to be interviewed on camera.  Each of these families had either a parent or child that was disabled – two families had more than one member disabled. One of the families had two children born “crack addicted” and are suffering long term consequences. Other child disabilities include autism, blindness caused by glaucoma at birth and severe developmental problems. (Although we didn’t interview her, we did meet a neighbor that had a boy with a severe congenital heart defect.)


The Census Bureau publishes a disability rate for McDowell County that exceeds 40%. When I first visited the area, I felt that a large part of these ‘disabilities’ were from drug and alcohol abuse. But since I’ve met so many sick children, my thoughts are that many problems are from environmental pollution. We are very interested in testing for mercury, lead and bacterial contamination of water supplies, so if anyone has any knowledge of these processes, please let us know. We need to know about costs and what companies supply services.  

Mr. Tom Metzbower has provided the answer to the problem of water testing. Taylor Technologies in Sparks, MD will donate water testing supplies that will detect contamination by heavy metals. This type of testing is recommended for ‘mine run-off”; a common source of drinking water in McDowell.  Chris at Taylor, has provided us with some insight regarding the health damage done by the environmental pollution from “coke processing ovens.” These health damages include neurological damage and gene transmutation. In other words, health effects can be passed down to subsequent generations.

Some local residents claim that inbreeding is a major source of health problems, but a logical look at the history of this area will show reasons that this assumption is not valid. 


This month has brought about significant change. The mission that has been doing our shipping for the past two years, has terminated that relationship. Within a couple of days of that being done, another mission appeared to take its’ place. Our new mission partner is Faith Building Ministries. Although, some arrangements are not yet finalized and all of their resources are not yet in place, this new relationship enables us to continue our work uninterrupted and promises to provide even greater opportunity to feed His sheep. GOD IS AWESOME!

When FBM’s warehouse in Damascus is finished, we will be seeking donations of furniture and bedding. (Don’t know what that timeframe is)


There are some folks in Westminster helping by providing bicycles. We received two today and are expecting 4 more next week. (Update – we’ve received 12 this month)


Besides working appliances and bikes, we can also use leftover or surplus building materials, paint, shingles, etc.  We received 2 toilets, two vanity sinks and a wall mounted urinal from Covenent of Grace Church in Reisterstown, MD. We can use just about anything. Please keep us in mind.


Cars and trucks can be donated and deducted at FULL FAIR MARKET VALUE, but must be in good condition – no tow-aways.  We are trying to implement programs to encourage kids to stay in school. We will offer on a lottery basis as many cars as we can get, to kids who finish school. Grades don’t help or count – JUST FINISH SCHOOL!  A 75%+ dropout rate requires extreme measures.



For those of you that shop ‘online’ please consider registering with IGIVE.COM. It costs no more and our project will receive a percentage of your purchase – generally 1%-2% plus a one time $5 reward for registering and using  You can also deduct from your taxes the amount of the donation we receive. Year-end accounting is provided. It’s a good deal for everyone. Please use this link to register -

When you register, we will be notified of your support.


So long for now. God bless you all.

Les and Marie Schaub


Psalms are a great way to learn of God’s blessings. Not only do they describe His blessings, but also tell us what we are to do to receive them. I think that as we mature, we learn to see that obedience is more important than the “Carrot” that He is offering. Here is one to ponder:

Psalm 41:1-3

 Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.  The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.  The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.



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